Illinois Group Educates Residents About Infant Mortality, Low Birthweight Infants Among Blacks
The Circle of Wise Women -- a group of about 20 women in Aurora, Ill. -- formed in the spring to address high rates of infant mortality aand low birthweight infants mong black women, the Suburban Chicago News reports. During November -- National Prematurity Awareness Month -- the group has been working with churches and schools in the area to inform residents about racial disparities in prenatal care. According to data from the Kane County, Ill., Health Department, the infant mortality rate among blacks was 17.2% in 2004, compared with a rate of 6.1% in the general population. In 2002, 14.2% of black babies in Kane County were born with low birthweights, about double the rate of the general population. Aurora Alderwoman Scheketa Hart-Burns, who is heading the Circle of Wise Women, said, "We need to bring attention to this issue and make it known that there is a problem in the African-American community. This should be public knowledge, but I don't think there is that awareness" (Wang, Suburban Chicago News, 11/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.